Psychology is a broad and exciting field of science. Psychology students might pursue careers in clinical psychology, counseling, school psychology, social work, or family therapy, or a career in education. Or, students might be drawn to study human behavior and the brain. At Southern, students get a broad education in psychology and focused training in their specific area of interest, whether it's the mental-health field, neuroscience, cognitive science, or applied psychology. Internship sites afford students professional experience in mental health, educational, and laboratory settings.
Department of Psychology Programs
Psychology is the study of the mind, the brain, and behavior, which covers a wide range of topics, such as understanding different forms of mental illness, how we learn and think, how we interact with others, and how our nervous system works. Psychology is a research-based field and we emphasize the scientific method in our classes, and the field also covers how psychological knowledge can be applied - such as treating disorders, providing counseling, enhancing employee health, assessing cognitive skills, and improving educational techniques.
The B.A. in Psychology, Mental Health concentration is specifically geared toward students with an interest in the fields of behavioral and mental health. In addition to providing a solid grounding in the principles of psychology, the concentration offers upper-level seminars in counseling, psychological assessment, and clinical psychology. The capstone of the program is a semester-long field practicum in the senior year, in which students gain hands-on experience in a professional mental-health setting.
The Psychology Mental Health concentration is an excellent option for students who plan to pursue a career in a mental-health profession such as:
- Counseling Psychology
- Marriage and Family Therapy
- Social Work
- Clinical Psychology
- School Counseling
These fields require post-graduate degrees, and the Mental Health program improves students’ competitiveness for acceptance in these graduate programs.
Psychology is the study of the mind, the brain, and behavior, which covers a wide range of topics, such as understanding different forms of mental illness, how we learn and think, how
we interact with others, and how our nervous system works. Psychology is a research-based field and we emphasize the scientific method in our classes, and the field also covers how psychological knowledge can beapplied - such as treating disorders, providing counseling, enhancing employee health, assessing cognitive skills, and improving educational techniques.
The B.S. in Psychology is specifically geared towards students with interests in 1) pursuing research in psychology and behavioral neuroscience, in 2) assessment and testing methods, and in 3) the applications of psychology to the workplace and public policy. The program has a focus on upper-level seminars, with choices that can be tailored to the student’s specific interests, and includes courses taken outside of the major to complement the psychology coursework. The capstone of the program is a semester-long research field practicum in the senior year, in which students gain hands-on experience in a research setting.
Students in the BS program can choose courses to follow specific tracks of study:
1. Behavioral Neuroscience (BNS)
- For students interested in the biological basis of behavior
- Preparation for graduate training/careers in STEM fields such as neuroscience, biotechnology, or medicine.
2. Cognitive Science (CogSci)
- For students interested in topics such as language, reading, attention, neuropsychology, and cognitive and developmental disabilities
- Preparation for graduate training or careers in research psychology, technology, and communication disorders.
3. Applied Psychology & Assessment (AP&A)
- For students interested in psychological testing and other professional applications of psychology. Course selection can be tailored to your specific interest
- Preparation for graduate training or careers in: School Psychology, Assessment & Quantitative Psychology, Industrial/Organizational & Human Factors Psychology, Health Psychology, and Public Policy
The B.S. in Psychology is an excellent option for students who want to:
- Increase their competitiveness for masters and Ph.D. programs in research and applied
- Psychology Apply to medical school
- Work in a research laboratory
- Work for a biotechnology company
- Pursue a career in Testing and Assessment, including School Psychology
The Psychology department also has an accelerated B.S. – M.A. and B.A. General – M.A. program (M.A. in 5 years). If you want to enter the Accelerated MA program (BA/MA or BS/MA), you will need to fill out an additional Accelerated Track BS to MA Agreement Form on the Acceptance into the Psychology Major page, and then meet with Dr. Patricia Kahlbaugh, email@example.com, before submitting your application.
Our program is a research-based program designed to develop creative problem-solving skills applicable in research, clinical, industrial, and educational settings. Our program is appropriate for a wide range of candidates.
The program is ideal for students who:
- Plan to apply to Ph.D. programs in Psychology or Psy.D. programs, and need additional research experience to increase their competitiveness.
- Plan to work in a research setting.
- Plan to pursue a career in a psychology-related field, and want to expand their knowledge and skills in psychology.
- Are professionals who seek to update their credentials in employment settings related to psychology.
- Are teachers in secondary school who want to acquire knowledge and skills for teaching psychology in addition to their current certification.
Students can follow a thesis track, which includes an empirical Masters thesis project, or an exam track, which includes coursework and a comprehensive exam.
The program is flexible enough to be completed either on a full-time or a part- time basis. We offer opportunities for graduate assistantships and research assistantships, which are competitive. While this program is not a clinical or counseling training program and does not lead to licensure, some courses are relevant to clinical psychology. Emphasis is placed on faculty advisement to help tailor the program to the needs of the individual student.
Benefits of Program
Research Opportunities: The Graduate Faculty in Psychology are active and engaged. Several have been recognized for excellence in teaching and research, and have received federal (NIH, NSF) grant funding. Graduate students often collaborate with faculty on this research or develop their own theses in similar areas, and research involves both human participants and animal research in both the laboratory and field. Our facilities include a dedicated and well-equipped behavioral and physiological psychology laboratory, a cognitive/developmental research lab, and computer research labs. We also support research internships at off-campus sites.
Clinical and Assessment Opportunities: Several members of the Graduate Faculty are also licensed clinical psychologists. While the program does not lead to licensure, it provides students with the foundations for later application to a clinical program through coursework and field experiences. The field experiences also allow students to explore careers in applied settings with professionals who have varied backgrounds. The department is also developing an on-campus assessment center in which graduate students will provide a variety of psychological assessments under the supervision of a faculty member.
One-Year Option: Our program, using the Comprehensive Exam option, may be completed in an accelerated fashion in two semesters and a summer session. This is similar to a 4+1 option (four-year undergraduate degree and one-year graduate degree) that some programs offer. Students wishing to choose this option should consult with the Graduate Coordinator at the time of application. This plan entails four courses each in the fall and spring semesters, and two courses over the summer. Students electing this option must ensure that their work schedules allow sufficient time to be devoted to their studies. Students electing this plan can take the comprehensive exam at the end of their second full semester (spring or fall). Advanced undergraduates may also be eligible to take a graduate course in the spring semester of their senior year and apply the course toward the graduate program.
Admission and Application Procedures
Students must meet the following minimum requirements to be admitted to the program:
- 18 hours of psychology (6 courses of at least 18 total credits; graduate or undergraduate) including at least one course in statistics and at least one course in research methods.
- Note: students with less than 18 total hours of psychology will be considered for acceptance to the program on a case-by-case basis provided they have a statistics course and a methods course in psychology or a related discipline
- An undergraduate GPA of 3.0
- An undergraduate GPA in psychology of 3.0.
Applicants may be required to strengthen their psychology backgrounds by taking certain undergraduate courses before matriculating.
To apply to the program, students must submit all of the following to the School of Graduate and Professional Studies:
- The graduate school application
- 300-500 word statement explaining why the applicant is interested in obtaining a master's degree in psychology, and what type of career the applicant is seeking
- All college transcripts
- Two letters of recommendation from academic or professional references (at least one academic reference preferred).
For further information, contact PsychologyGrad@southernct.edu.
The Psychology program has rolling admissions but students are encouraged to have their application files complete by June 1 for the fall semester and November 1 for the spring semester.
Psychology is relevant to many areas of study that involve learning, behavior, development, mental and behavioral health, communication, and social interactions. Because of this, the Psychology minor provides an excellent complement to many different majors, including Communication Disorders, Social Work, Biology, Public Health, Sociology, Exercise Science, Special Education, Therapeutic Recreation, Marketing, Management, and Nursing. Many graduate programs have undergraduate Psychology prerequisites, making the minor a practical choice. The minor provides flexibility in course selection among Psychology courses at the 200- and 300-levels, allowing students to tailor their course selection to their interests and career goals.
The minor in Psychological Science offers students an opportunity to take upper-level Psychology courses to complement their major. The Psychological Science minor differs from the Psychology minor in that it includes coursework in statistics and advanced psychology courses that have an experimental focus. The minor is an excellent choice for students who plan to apply to medical school. It is also ideal for students with majors that will lead to careers in educational and health-care professions, such as Nursing, Communication Disorders, and Exercise Science, and students who plan to pursue careers in the biotechnology and information-technology fields.